Digitisation of records to improve access at the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority
The change from paper to digital records management at the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has been widely accepted to solve problems of poor records management systems and inefficiency throughout the organisation, but it brought with it some challenges. The purpose of the study was to assess the digitisation project to improve records access at ZERA. In a sequential explanatory design, the researchers used a simple mixed methods research approach to collect data. Data were collected through questionnaires and interviews from purposively selected individuals because of their characteristics and significance in the context of what the study was investigating. The findings of the study revealed that the digitisation project at ZERA was a major success and it has improved the records management system in numerous ways, including improved access to records, fast and easy retrieval of information and timely access to records. However, the study revealed that digitisation comes with challenges such as the issue of security of records as cyber criminals always try to unlawfully access the organisation’s information. These challenges affect the organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness, slowing down processes and affecting the organisation’s service delivery. It also revealed that some members of the organisation find it difficult to adapt to digital change. Instead of embracing and using the new system, they lag behind and stick to the old ways of doing things. ZERA did not train its staff in the management of digital records, which contributed to resistance to digital change. The study recommends ZERA to budget for the appropriate infrastructure; employ more reliable security measures; train its staff in using, managing and securing digital records, and employ individuals with the required skills to manage digital records.